Thomas Cook has confirmed that it has donated the compensation received from the Louis Group in connection with the tragic deaths of Robert and Christianne Shepherd to charity. The company can confirm that in 2013 and 2014 it received GBP £1.5 million in connection with a settlement with Louis Group. That settlement was in relation to a case brought by Thomas Cook against Louis Group in October 2012 relating to this tragic incident.
Group Chief Executive Officer Peter Fankhauser said:
“Thomas Cook has not in any way profited from our claim against the hotel owner. In late 2012, we brought a claim against the hotelier for breaching their contract to provide safe accommodation to our customers and to comply with all applicable laws which was decided in our favour.”
“Today I have made arrangements for the full amount – GBP 1.5million - to be donated in full to Unicef, the world’s leading children’s organisation."
“I believe this is the right thing to do and I apologise to the family for all they have gone through.”
Thomas Cook made a claim against the Louis Group in the UK courts to seek recompense of costs related to this tragic incident. This claim was filed in October 2012, setting out damages of which the substantial portion related to our legal fees. In July 2013, there was a summary judgment in our favour where the High Court determined that the Louis Group was liable for breach of contract and awarded Thomas Cook £1 million as an initial compensation payment. The remainder of the size of the compensation was settled with the Louis Group in September 2013, 50% of which was paid to our insurers as per our insurance arrangements. The remaining £1.5 million was retained by Thomas Cook.
Everyone at Thomas Cook was shocked and deeply saddened by the tragic loss of Robert and Christianne Shepherd in 2006. Thomas Cook recognises that the pain caused by this terrible accident will never go away and must be still very hard for friends and family to bear.
The Greek authorities launched a thorough criminal investigation in 2010 which found three of the Louis Corcyra Beach Hotel employees guilty of manslaughter; that investigation cleared Thomas Cook's employees of any wrong doing. The Coroner had directed the jury that the only conclusion to reach was unlawful killing as legally it had to be consistent with the Greek verdicts.
The systems which were in place in 2006, which were intended to prevent such a tragedy, have since been thoroughly revised and address the criticisms made by the jury. Thomas Cook works with dedicated specialist external health and safety experts to audit holiday properties. The health and safety of our customers is of paramount importance and we continuously review and strive to improve all our procedures.
The Cuban government have announced that they will no longer collect customers departure tax locally and it is now the responsibility of the airline to collect this before departure from the UK. The charge of £17 / $25 per person will apply to all customers with a seat.
Customers travelling from the 1st May – 31st August 2015 will be asked to pay their departure tax at their UK airport.
Customers travelling after the 1st September 2015 will receive a letter confirming the new total cost including the Cuban departure tax.
All Summer departure times in Egypt will be brought forward by 1 hour, as of Fri 24th April. This is 1 hour earlier then the time stated on your current documentation. New information will be sent out to all customers showing the new flying times of departure.
We have also received notification that the terminal at Hurghada airport will change from Friday 24th April 2015. The new terminal for Thomas Cook Airlines flights will be Terminal 1.
A visa is required when visiting Turkey. This should be obtained in advance of travel from the official Turkish Government website www.evisa.gov.tr. Cost is currently $20, apply at least one-week before departure.
For travel after 1st Jan 15 a visa must be obtained in advance of travel. Failure to comply with entry requirements will result in travel being denied/entry refused.